Rental car pick up and drive to Reykjavík. Settle into your accommodation
The otherworldly landscapes of this itinerary will give you the sensation that you’re exploring another planet and when it comes to Iceland’s isolated Central Highlands, this is not an exaggeration! To get there, a vehicle with four wheel drive is your only option: there’s no other way to cross the sandy deserts, drive over the ancient lava fields, ford the rivers, and accquire access to all of the other spectacular sites. This surreal world of arid wilderness, desert plains, delightful hot spring oases and volcanic mountain ranges will become a part of you. The experience of the Icelandic Highlands seems to fill the air with mythical spirits that may just trick you into thinking you really have left Earth.
This trip is available from July to September
Rental car pick up and drive to Reykjavík. Settle into your accommodation
Set off along the impressive Hvalfjördur or, whale fjord, until you reach the valley of Reykholt
The multicolored landscapes here are symptoms of both the glaciers and geothermal activity
Bathe in the Laugafell hotspring in the heart of Iceland
ere, you have the option to relax in an outdoor geothermal pool. and hikes in this surreal apocalyptic setting
End your day in the Ásbyrgi region and observe the surprising horseshoe shape of its canyon
Continue to the Askja caldera in the middle of Ódadahraun’s lunar landscape, the desert of crimes, that owes its name to the criminals that hid there to escape the law
You’ll come to the shores of the Lagarfljót Lake in the Egilsstadir region
Fjords shape the east Icelandic coastline and in each one is nestled a little fishing village, protected by the winds by the fjord’s large cliffs.
Discover the majesty of Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull
Tjarnargígur Lake, the Fagrifoss waterfall and the Fjardrárgljúfur gorges are the next things you’ll see on this volcanic day
Landmannalaugar region is full of spectacular trails and enchanting landscapes
Return your rental car at Keflavik international airport and enjoy your flight home
50 km. 1hr
Arrival at Keflavik international airport. Rental car pick up and drive to Reykjavík. Settle into your accommodation. The rest of your first night is at your leisure in the world’s northernmost capital.
Overnight in Reykjavík.
50 km. about 5hrs
Pick up your rental car and set off along the impressive Hvalfjördur or, whale fjord, until you reach the valley of Reykholt. There you’ll find the hot water springs of Deildartunguhver reputed to be the fastest flowing in the Europe. Stop at the Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls. You’ll take the Kaldidalur 4WD road: along the western flank of the Langjökull glacier, it links the Reykholt valley with that of Thingvellir where you’ll observe a network of faults resulting from the oceanic rift.
Staying overnight in either the Laugarvatn or the Geysir region.
260 km about 6hrs
Discover Geysir where the Strokkur geyser shoots out of the ground at regular intervals, then stop by the Gullfoss falls where the Hvítá river has created an impressive canyon. Following the trail of Kjölur, you’ll arrive at the Kerlingarfjöll mountain range, stuck between the Langjökull and Hofsjökull glaciers. The multicolored landscapes here are symptoms of both the glaciers and geothermal activity. Relaxing stop at the Hveravellir hot springs where you can dive right in!
Staying overnight in the Skagafjördur region.
310 km about 6hrs
Take a detour to see the wild coasts of Tröllaskagi, the peninsula of trölls, with the Arctic Ocean on one side and an imposing mountain range on the other. Pass through Akureyri, Iceland’s second largest city and the capital of the north, before driving back up a magnificent glacial valley on the high plateaus. Bathe in the Laugafell hotspring in the heart of Iceland.
Staying overnight in Laugafell either camping or in a mountain hut
It is also possible to stay in a guesthouse in the Akureyri region.
180 km about 4hrs
You’ll reach the Sprengisandur trail. Cross an austere and beautiful desert before coming to the incredible falls of Aldeyjarfoss and its strange necklace of basalt rock formations. A bit further, stop at the equally beautiful Gódafoss falls before discovering the surroundings of Lake Myvatn: Pseudocraters, explosion craters, recent lava flows and cauldrons of boiling mud. Discover some of the most surprising and interesting geological and geothermal manifestations in Iceland. Here, you have the option to relax in an outdoor geothermal pool. and hikes in this surreal apocalyptic setting.
Overnight in the Mývatn region.
140 km about 2hrs 30m
Explore Mývatn’s surroundings some more before heading off to the charming port of Húsavík. From here you have the option of going whale-watching and sightings are a near certainty. You’ll then tour the coast of the Tjörnes peninsula where you can see puffins performing aerial feats…(at least until mid-August). End your day in the Ásbyrgi region and observe the surprising horseshoe shape of its canyon. On one side of the canyon is a thick birch forest that the elves are said to protect a pond that reflects 100 metre cliffs…Truly enchanting!
Overnight in the Ásbyrgi region.
180 km about 4hrs
Today you enter Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, that extends north of Ásbyrgi to the Dettifoss waterfalls, the most powerful in Europe. Here, there are spectacular gorges that you can discover from many points. At Hljódaklettar, the echo cliffs, you can access its red scoria craters. Continue to the Askja caldera in the middle of Ódadahraun’s lunar landscape, the desert of crimes, that owes its name to the criminals that hid there to escape the law. Herdubreid, the mountain of broad shoulders looms over this vast volcanic desert. You are in another world!
Staying the night in Askja, in a mountain hut or camping.
It is possible to stay in a guesthouse in the Mývatn region.
200 km about 4hrs
On the next leg of your trip, Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull, dominates the southern horizon. You travel across desert-like lands between the Kverkfjöll and Snæfell mountain ranges. On the way, discover the gorges of Hafrahvammsgljúfur and the Laugavalladalur hot water springs where nature offers you a pleasant open air shower! You’ll come to the shores of the Lagarfljót Lake in the Egilsstadir region. The tall Hengifoss waterfall (120m) and Hallormstaðaskógur, a rare Icelandic forest are sure to impress you more than the “Icelandic Loch Ness monster” said to dwell in the Lagarfljót.
Overnight in the Egilsstadir region.
260 km about 5hrs
Fjords shape the east Icelandic coastline and in each one is nestled a little fishing village, protected by the winds by the fjord’s large cliffs. You’ll take this magnificent coastal road that leads you from one fjord to the next. Stop wherever you are most tempted; to watch the seals of Lónsvík at play or swans in the bay of Álftafjördur. (depending on the season) Or an exhibit about Iceland’s French fishermen in Fáskrúdsfjördur, the mineral and rock collection of the Petra museum at Stödvarfjördur, or the charming port of Djúpivogur. Thanks to your 4WD vehicle, you are even able to explore the extremities of the Lónsvík bay and reach the multicolored Stafafell Mountains.
Staying overnight in the Höfn region.
200 km about 4hrs
Discover the majesty of Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull. At the glacial lagoon of Jökulsárlón, you are emerged in a truly arctic landscape composed of icebergs and impressive glaciers, all the while being watched by curious seals. Further along, to the west, is the Skaftafell National Park with its Svartifoss waterfall and its strange basalt rocks. Above you, with its head maybe in the clouds, sits Hvannadalshnúkur at, 2110m it is Iceland’s highest peak.
Staying overnight in the Kirkjubæjarklaustur region.
120 km about 5hrs
From Kirkjubæjarklaustur, move along to the Laki region, where the biggest volcanic eruption since humans have populated the island took place, leaving behind enchanting lunar landscapes. Take a spectacular trail to a line of 120 craters extending over 25 km. The black lava and green moss you’ll find here are a picturesque contrast. Tjarnargígur Lake, the Fagrifoss waterfall and the Fjardrárgljúfur gorges are the next things you’ll see on this volcanic day.
Overnight in the Kirkjubæjarklaustur region.
180 km about 6hrs
Cross the Fjallabak nature reserve, where you’ll discover some of the country’s wildest and most spectacular sites. First, you’ll see the Eldgjá rift from where the Ófærufoss falls crash down. Next is one of Iceland’s hidden gems: Langisjór, or “long sea”, a body of water lost in a black sand desert and mountains with mossy slopes. Last on your agenda is the multicoloured Landmannalaugar mountain chain and its hot water river, perfect for a therapeutic soak!
Staying overnight in Landmannalaugar (camping or in a mountain hut). It is possible to stay in a guesthouse near the Hekla volcano.
Wether around the Veidivötn lakes, on Hrafntinnusker’s volcanic plateaus, on the rim of the Ljótipollur crater or at the foot of the Hekla volcano, the Landmannalaugar region is full of spectacular trails and enchanting landscapes. You have a full day to discover this region, widely recognized as one of Iceland’s most beautiful. We would also suggest for you to leave your car behind in order to undertake one of Landmannalaugar’s magnificent hikes.
At the end of the day, you’ll be able to take a bath in the hot river nearby the mountain hut.
Overnight in Landmannalaugar (camping or in a mountain hut). It is possible to stay in a guesthouse near the Hekla volcano.
220 km about 4hrs
Return to Reykjavík going around the flanks of the Hekla volcano and its recent lava flows. Continue through the valley of the Thjórsá river. You’ve seen many waterfalls during your trip, but we’ve saved one of the best for last: Háifoss, and its neighboring waterfall Grannifoss, that plunge down 122m into a magnificent canyon. Continue along the trail with its many creeks before driving through the western countryside and delighting in the volcanic plateaus of Hellisheidi during your return to Reykjavík Rental car return and overnight in Reykjavik.
50km about 1 hr
Return your rental car at Keflavik international airport and enjoy your flight home.
Take your pick: hotels, mountain huts, campsites…
The vast majority of Icelandic establishments are modest, but clean and comfortable. Most of the guesthouses, farmhouses and hotels offer catering. Your accommodation will fall under whichever category of establishment you choose. There is also a camping option (all camping equipment provided). With our voucher system, you’ll be able to camp when and where you want, giving you as much freedom as you want to adapt your itinerary based on the weather as well as your own location choices.
We recommend that your book your Iceland self-drive as soon as possible in order to have to the most choice when it comes to the establishment itself and the type of accommodation you stay in.Request quote
In guesthouses, farmhouses or countryside hotels, from mid-June to mid-September
In mountain huts or hostels, from mid-June to mid-September
In shared or private rooms: from 2475 Euros to 3100 Euros/pers. depending on the season
Camping, from June to August
With equipment provided: from 1875 Euros to 2450 Euros/pers. depending on the season.
Final price depending on the number of persons, the season and the vehicle category
Watching the midnight sun beyond the Arctic Circle
Experience one of the most unique events in Iceland : the midnight sun.
Hop on a ferry in Akureyri, and sale to the island of Grimsey, straddling the Arctic Circle. During summer solstice, (approx. 20 – 22.st of June ) the sun remains constantly above the horizon for 24 hours.
Meet Atlantic puffins and more than 12 other different species before settling in your guesthouse to enjoy a local meal. Shortly after it will be time to find a perfect spot for the spectacular scene: enjoy the endless sun of Grímsey..
This unique experience is an Iceland Like A Local finding